Here’s some exciting news for parents looking to monitor their child’s text message activity. Child safety website TeenSafe has launched a new version of their app, which not only lets you view your child’s social network activity, but also lets you read the text messages they send and receive on their Android or iPhone.
Better still, you can even read text messages that have been DELETED on the phone!
Text message monitoring has been of huge interest in recent years. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation study, kids spend an average of 7 hours, 38 minutes a day connected to some type of electronic device. The big worry for parents is that they don’t often know what their child is doing on their phone, online, or in the real world — and their kids aren’t always forthcoming with what’s going on in their lives.
From sending friends seemingly innocent (but potentially provocative) photos, to online solicitations, sexting, or befriending some less-than-desirable characters, kids can make mistakes caused by youthful inexperience. Those actions can end up haunting a child and parent forever, but TeenSafe gives parents access and visibility into their child’s world.
TeenSafe also works on an iPhone. According to the website, you don’t need your teen’s phone to set it up, and you can monitor the iPhone without needing to jailbreak it, which can invalidate the iPhone warranty. All you need is your child’s Apple ID and password.
The application for Android smartphone installation is slightly different, but just as easy. Just enter some basic info, accept the app on the phone, and you're good go.
TeenSafe enables you to:
- View your Teen's text messages, including deleted texts.
- See Your Teen's Device Location.
- Monitor Calls.
- Monitor Instagram, WhatsApp, Kik Messages, web activity and more.
Once you register with TeenSafe, the information gets downloaded to your private login page where you can read all the iPhone or Android text messages your child has sent and received. You can also view their phone call logs, phone contacts and web browsing history, as well as Instagram and WhatsApp activity. TeenSafe also uses the phone's GPS to track its location on a map.
And nothing shows up on your child’s phone, so they won’t know about it unless you tell them.
Admittedly, it can sound a little sneaky, but as long as you are the parent or guardian of the child it’s legal. As for whether or not you should tell your child, TeenSafe goes the common sense route by explaining that the decision is up to you.
Every family is different, and when it comes to protecting your children it’s sometimes good to open a dialogue. Other times it’s better to be discreet, such as when your child has already run into some trouble and you’re now trying to prevent him or her from encountering bigger problems.
So, whether you’re giving your child a cell phone for the first time and just want to keep an eye on them, or you have a teen exposed to more than they’re ready to handle, TeenSafe could be your way to safely and anonymously observe them without being a helicopter parent.